The head of the Kentucky Senate Transportation Committee doesn’t see much support in his chamber for freezing the state’s gas tax.
Funds from the tax go to build new roads and bridges and finance improvements. Governor Beshear is suggesting the fee stay at the December rate, a penny and a half higher than that of January.
Committee Chair Ernie Harris says many of his colleagues see the frozen gas tax as a tax increase.
“One of the main things we need to do is just continue moving forward with the projects that we have already approved in the last road plan and to make sure that there advancing as fast as they possibly can,” Harris said.
Harris calls the gas tax “drop in the bucket” compared to an overall $3 billion road fund budget.
“Most of us are looking at that as a tax increase," he said. " That penny and a half represents about 45 million dollars. But, then again we have a three billion dollar road plan budget.”
Harris says it’s most important to allocate sufficient funds to continue projects already underway. He says senators are waiting to see what action the House will take on the gas levy provision.